“British Traditional Witchcraft: Bull-Crap”: a PNC look at Janet Farrar

I love that 3 part interview Janet and Gavin gave to PNC and have links to them on a recent post. https://blausternschlonge.wordpress.com/2013/06/17/britains-wicca-man-video-about-gerald-gardner-reblogged-from-the-wild-hunt/ And Ehsha Apple here gives another link about that event where the interview took place. I went many years without finding any new books on witchcraft of interest, but found Progressive Witchcraft to be fascinating and refreshing and a way to move forward. And regarding Janet Farrar, well hey, she was there, so she should know,and i would hate to get into an argument with that lady. And i mean no offense to any Garnerian or Alexandrian initiates inn posting these viewpoints because i think they are, like all initiations, valid to the degree that a real connection is made to the linege. And like i like to say – “We are all the bastards of Gardner and Valiente” ultimately.

Witchcraft From Scratch

I’m all hopped up on caffeine and homegrown honey this fine Independence Day.

I was invited to three cookouts today but given this tropical-whatever that’s making life wet and muddy and the lake too rocky for safe-sailing, two were cancelled. One was moved indoors–but with it’s oversized guest list–I’m thinking that’s too close for comfort. So, I’m landlocked with nothing planned but wood-burning, fun-reading, and Big Love. I think I might make a sundress since my Singer is already out and set up from the costumes I made for a Monty Python party this weekend (a gumby, a Spanish inquisitor–no one will expect that, a recovering newt, Sir Robin, and The Black Beast of Arrgghhh).

As it goes, I was reading this thing–which lead me to that thing–which caused me to cross-reference–and then I found one of those precious nuggets of wonderfulness that fill my mind with rainbows and…

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6 thoughts on ““British Traditional Witchcraft: Bull-Crap”: a PNC look at Janet Farrar

  1. That was a really interesting article, I haven’t had a chance to read up on all of the other links Ehsha Apple mentions but I think I will. One of my friends has a blog offering indie and alternative book reviews and she has asked me to review a pagan book, pre-publication, which looks at the history of magic and religion in a pagan context and is trying to establish a link from the British Palaeolithic onwards – not as a directly descended historical witch cult but as a gradual development and accretion of ideas/knowledge and practice that can be instinctively tapped into via the collective unconscious. I think it is a very interesting premiss – is this a view that is widely shared?

    • Yea her links are good, and the ones i have are to the three part interview at PNC with Janet and Gavin. I think some knowledge was passed on from witch to witch, but most was received shamanically. I am no scholar of all the various theories, but all religions and paths seem to start from some very personal shamanic experience which may or may not be shared with others.

  2. That is really interesting viewpoint, I am enjoying the book I am reviewing, and as someone keen on history I appreciate the author’s efforts to bring in the archaeological and historical record, but not to graft modern theories onto interpretations of the past. The idea of a Jungian collective unconscious where magical knowledge is pooled and available for later traditions/individuals to tap into (which might be accessible via shamanic practices, maybe?) appeals to me as it seems to reconcile the lack of actual evidence for continous historical witch cults with the fact that people seem to have been carrying out similar magical practices at many different times in the past….its a really interesting subject…

    • Yes trying to project some meaning on some object from thousands of years ago is pseudo-science. Who knows if that phallic or yoni shaped object is a mortar and pestle or a ritual object? I think the best way is to study what the few primitive cultures today still do, then maybe try to project back.

  3. This is from an so-called Elder of Alexandrian Witchcraft (I.e Janet Farrar) describing Alex Sanders
    “According to Cory, Ms. Farrar and Mr. Bone described Sanders as a “complete whack job,” eoq

    as well as labellling Traditional Witchcraft as bull crap

    Traditional Witchcraft did exist before Gardner. One only needs to look at Cultural Anthropology of the British Isles and Europe. From the earliest Becker folk, through the Celtic, the Anglo-Saxons, the Picts etc etc and then the influences of the East brought by the Romans and traders. Gardner reconstructed
    his Wicca from actual historical witchcraft tenants of the UK and Europe. There is a very long history of valid witchcraft in UK and Europe. Sanders was an exceptional and natural witch, who used his considerable talent to investigate, explore and further the magical boundaries. Beyond Gardner and also even what he and Maxine did during their coven years.

    The very fact that Janet would say something insulting about her now dead initiator into Alexandrian
    Craft, reveals an aspect of character I personally found offensive and not trustworthy.

    – Leonard Stevens
    I am an Alexandrian Witch of the ODLN line.
    Initiated by Soror Moonshee,
    who was an 3* and adept initiate and High Priestess to Alex Sanders.

    According to Soror Moonshee, Alex Sanders was brilliant ! a magical genius.

    • I didn’t write it. It was a reblog from another blog. I’m not responsible for what Janet Farrar may have said. Since i have reblogged that i have decided to stay out of the whole BTW controversy and spats amongst witches and their lineages. And as i wrote “i mean no offense to any Garnerian or Alexandrian initiates inn posting these viewpoints.” I too have a lot of respect for Alex and have had communications with another of the ODLN line. BB.

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